Penn Badgley Compares Being a Father to Being a Stepfather


Actor Penn Badgley has been in a very different role in recent years, raising his son at home with his wife Domino Kirke. Kirke herself has a son of her own, Cassius, who was born in 2009. So when Badgley is at home with the two kids, he’s in the dual roles of father and stepfather. 

Badgley, who tied the knot with Kirke in 2017, reflected on the difference between the two jobs in a March 27 appearance on The New York Times’ Modern Love podcast. 

“I have an interesting situation where I have a biological son and a stepson,” Badgley explained. When it comes to Kirke’s son Cassius, Badgley doesn’t try to play the role of his actual father. “His father is very much in his life, so his father is his father, and I’m something else.”

“So I have two different kind of parental roles,” he continued. “My biological son is only 3-and-a-half. So, that’s a very different thing, too. I need to be able to more consciously show him my vulnerability as he gets older in those years.” Badgley’s own son was born in August 2020 and his name hasn’t been publicly revealed. 

Meanwhile, because his stepson is a teenager, Badgley says the 15-year-old “doesn’t want to spend that much time with us anyway.” As a result, Badgley had to find other ways to spend time with him. He was able to forge a stronger connection by introducing him to the 2014 sci-fi epic Edge of Tomorrow. 

“I just knew it was important. It was like the stars had aligned so that my wife and my youngest son were asleep, and I was just like, ‘This is a good time to do this! You’re not going to play video games now. We’re going to do this!'” he recalled. “He loved it.”

These days, Badgley has been busy filming the fifth and final season of the hit Netflix series You. So when that wraps up, he might have some more time to spend with both kids at home. 

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